Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t cancels Water Festival

Gov’t cancels Water Festival

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Water Festival in Phnom Penh last year. The festival was scheduled to take place between October 30 and November 1 this year. Hong Menea

Gov’t cancels Water Festival

The government has cancelled the annual three-day Phnom Penh Water Festival that was scheduled to take place from October 30 to November 1.

The news came in a letter from the Office of the Council of Ministers that was sent to Kong Sam Ol, the chairman of the National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals.

The letter – sighted by The Post on Thursday – was dated August 11 and said the government had decided to halt to the water festival this year. The letter did not give reasons for the suspension.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said on Thursday he was unaware of the matter as he had not yet seen the letter. But he said it is likely a result of Covid-19.

Covid-19 cases have increased dramatically in recent weeks in Cambodia as the upcoming Aug 17-21 holidays approach, said the Ministry of Health.

The ministry has expressed concern and warned the people to remain extremely vigilant against the coronavirus due to the recent spike in infections.

Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine has repeatedly said that local transmission remains a real danger.

“We can forget Covid-19, but Covid-19 never forgets us. Hence, citizens should not be at peace with Covid-19,” she said.

The Water Festival is held every year along the Tonle Sap River in the autumn and draws thousands of revellers and spectators to the river bank.

The highlight of the Water Festival is the traditional boat races held at Chatomuk, the area in front of the Royal Palace where the Tonle Sap merges with the Mekong.

The rowing regattas, although only re-established in 1990 after a 20-year hiatus, date back many centuries into Khmer antiquity and many are uncertain as to their origins.

But it won’t be the first time it has been cancelled. The water festival was also called off when King Father Norodom Sihanouk passed away in 2012.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway